Ludhiana: ‘Caught’ by kin, couple gets married with a little help from the cops
The term ‘moral policing’ got a different meaning on Saturday, when a 21-year-old woman disowned by her family over a love affair and got married to her boyfriend, 24, at a police station, with the cops facilitating it.
It all started with a relative noticing the woman, Pardeep Kaur, with her lover, Rajinder Singh of Sanaur in Patiala, at a religious place just outside her village, Chhajomajra, 35 km from here in Ludhiana district. The relative thought they had gone there to get married against the wishes of the woman’s parents, officials said. Her family took the couple to the police station.
There, the woman said, she refused to go home with her parents and told them she is “deeply in love” with Rajinder and wants to marry him. She is a school dropout and Rajinder, who has studied up to Class 10, operates farm machinery. Frustrated, the family “disowned” her and returned home. Police officials then asked her boyfriend if he too wanted to marry her, and he affirmed. His parents, he said, have no objection, “but they could not make it for the wedding”. Kaur said, “I had only gone to meet him, but my family assumed I was eloping with him.”
For the wedding, quickly arranged, police officials took on religious duties otherwise carried out by relatives, and the rituals were performed in the compound of the station, said multiple officials who were present but did not want to be named. Inspector Surinder Pal, the station house officer, told HT that after the woman refused to go home with her parents, the cops “allowed her to marry her boyfriend”. He said the ceremony was done “outside the police station”.
Kaur told HT that though she is not well-educated, “my parents could not force me to marry as per their choice, as I am an adult”. She said they told her never to come to the village again: “I have accepted their condition for the sake of my love.”
How did this love affair happen, though? Rajinder said it all started with a phone call. “Around eight months ago, she called me by mistake, and apologised for the wrong number.” Then, she said, they “started talking, and fell in love”.